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We Gryffies by gryffindorseeker
Chapter 17 : Make Your Own Kind Of Music
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 61

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Only sick music makes money today.

-Friedrich Nietzsche

After Rhys Llewellyn punched me in the face, things started to look up. He actually came all the way to Hogwarts the very next day, to make some sort of truce with me.

That Sunday morning I found myself skipping along the Entrance Hall towards the Great Hall to break my fast. None of the other Gryffies were up yet, but my spirits were high and my stomach was growling. I also sported a very purple bruise ‘round my left eye, which increased my street cred by about twenty points. (On a one hundred point scale, you see.) So Rhys’s punch had really worked out well for me, Tegan fawning over me and my mates treating me like a bloke for once.

But as I crossed the Entrance Hall, a spring in my step, I spotted Tegan’s dad, looking quite dapper and very tall. He saw me as well and carefully approached me.

‘James,’ he said, uncomfortably polite. Rhys extended his hand for me to shake.

I shook it. ‘Er, hi Rhys. Mr Llewellyn. Mr Rhys Llewellyn, sir.’

He almost cringed when he saw my bruised eye. ‘James, I mean to…er…apologise for my behaviour yesterday. I acted rashly and inappropriately, and I truly regret hitting you.’

I shrugged. ‘No worries. There’s actually a rumour going ‘round school that I got in a fight with Evander LeGrander, who’s basically the Great Wall of China but he’s crap at duelling, so he punches people Muggle-style. Plus you caught me in a compromising position with your daughter, and I totally get why you were angry. I mean, if I were you, I probably would’ve hexed me. At the very least.’

Rhys gave the slightest smile. ‘Right, then. So…you aren’t going to press charges?’

‘Uh…I hadn’t really considered it, to be frank,’ I admitted. How could I sue the grandfather of my future children?

He looked very relieved. ‘Excellent! Well, I suppose I just wanted to apologise…and if it doesn’t make you too uncomfortable, you and your band are welcome to continue practising at Tanybwlch House. And if it’s any consolation, I can be gone most of the time.’

‘Sure,’ I said, knowing we didn’t have any better prospects. ‘And…er…Mr Llewellyn…Rhys…you don’t have to make yourself scarce if you don’t want to. I feel strangely cavalier about our…about our confrontation yesterday.’

Rhys nodded. ‘Very well then, James. We seem to be on the same page.’

And then he scrunched his eyebrows, looking both serene and troubled. ‘You’ll take care of her?’ asked Rhys. ‘As her father, I must tell you that you better not hurt Tegan. She’s a very special little girl and she’s my little girl, and if you do one thing to hurt her, James, I’m going to have to come after you. Sorry to be so brusque, but—’

‘I love her,’ I said matter-of-factly, not caring that two Ravenclaw fourth years walked by us. ‘I’m in love with Tegan.’

Rhys raised his eyebrow and stared at me. ‘What?’ he asked in a low voice.

‘I’m sorry, sir,’ I said, ‘but I love Tegan and I want to be with her forever and she’s special and she’s perfect and I can’t even wrap my pretty little head ‘round the concept of ever doing anything to hurt her, in any capacity.’

People’s jaws don’t really drop when you say they do—it’s a silly idiomatic expression. They usually just hang there. But at that moment, Rhys’s jaw came pretty close to dropping. As in almost hitting the floor.

‘I know it’s odd, sir,’ I continued, as he was speechless. ‘But I’m a very strange boy, and I’m just expressing my feelings.’

‘Sorry,’ said Rhys, ‘I suppose I didn’t know you two were…saying those sorts of things yet.’

‘Oh, we’re not,’ I replied. ‘Tegan doesn’t know. I’ve only told J.D. and my Imagination Journal.’

Rhys exhaled. ‘Is that some sort of innuendo? Never mind. So you’re in love with my daughter but she doesn’t know it yet…aren’t you a bit young to be in love?’

‘I certainly don’t think so,’ I said. ‘I’m nearly seventeen, and my sister is only thirteen and she loves my Psychological Healer. I mean, my Analyst/Therapist.’

‘Again, I’m not going to ask what that means,’ said Rhys, glancing at his wristwatch. ‘I have a meeting with Vindictus I must be getting to, so shall we bid our adieux?’

I waved. ‘Bye Rhys! Please don’t tell Tegan about my amorous affections yet!’

‘Wouldn’t dream of it,’ said Rhys, exiting the Entrance Hall in the general direction of Professor Viridian’s office.

In my cheerily nonchalant way, I skipped off to the Great Hall. Taking my usual seat at the Gryffindor table, I began to devour some sort of French pastry when the owl post arrived.

Hedwigeon, the Potter family owl, sailed over my head and dropped a swanky-looking envelope at my place. Oddly enough, Blodeuwedd, Zipporah, Archie, and Athena (Tegan’s, Micah’s, Freddie’s, and J.D.’s owls, respectively) dropped equally swanky-looking envelopes where my mates usually sat. Maybe we’re invited to a party, I thought. But the Great Hall was absolutely filled with owls, dropping similar-looking envelopes at every single seat.

I absentmindedly opened my envelope and extracted the contents within, but not without cutting both my thumbs by accident. (‘Tis the season for paper cuts, yeah?) On very nice-looking stationary was written this:

Congratulations! You are cordially invited to the first annual Hogwarts Battle of the Bands! (With special guest appearance by the one and only Lewd Wig!)

The Alliance of Hogwarts Quidditch Cap’ns will host the competition in the Great Hall on 23 December 2021 at 8 o’clock. Participating bands include:

Euterpe’s Addiction
Drystan Davies: lead vocals
Coby Fünke: lead guitar, backing vocals
Ziv Berger: drums, backing vocals
Huan Kwan: violin
Sam Vandroogenbroeck: cello
Sherwood Lambert: publicist
George DeJure III: legal counsel

Hardcore Buzzkill
Scorpius Malfoy: lead vocals, guitar
Jack Murdoch: lead guitar, backing vocals
Nick Vanderberg: bass guitar, backing vocals
Kate Nott: drums
Evander LeGrander: keyboard

Tawny Faraday Presents: Hilarius Goodman’s Olde Tyme Troubadour Friends, with Mia Dodgson and Ava Fairchild
Hilarius Goodman: lead vocals, tambourine
Mia Dodgson: flute
Ava Fairchild: triangle, woodblock, backing vocals
Tawny Faraday: lute, banjolele, backing vocals

The Gryffies
J.D. Nott: lead vocals
James Potter: lead guitar, backing vocals
Tegan Llewellyn: bass guitar, backing vocals
Fred Weasley: drums
Micah Horowitz: pan flute, balalaika, castanets, conch shell, drejelire, frula, accordion, bagpipes, shofar

Judging will be conducted by renowned string bassist Callum Lin-Wood and after each band has played one original song, a winner will be declared.

Admission is free to all Hogwarts students. Event sponsored by Llewellyn and Llewellyn, Broommakers.

I read the invitation three times before the other Gryffie sixth years joined me at our corner of the house table.

‘What’s wrong with your jaw, J.S.?’ J.D. asked. ‘It’s just hanging there.’

‘You look a bit green,’ said Tegan, taking her rightful place beside me. ‘Eat up, eat up.’

‘So the post has come already?’ asked Freddie, picking up his swanky envelope.

‘Are we all invited to a wedding?’ asked Micah, opening his envelope.

‘By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes,’ I muttered, allowing my comrades to discover the horrible news on their own.

Tegan was the fastest reader and spoke first. ‘Lewd Wig? Do they want me to kill myself?’

‘Lewd Wig!’ J.D. shouted. ‘It’s a Festivus miracle!’

‘James, why didn’t you tell us that Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff are in on it too?’ demanded Micah. ‘Or that they even had bands?’

Freddie said nothing, but simply took his glass of pumpkin juice and drank the entire thing in one sip.

‘To answer your question, Micah,’ I said, voice dropping an octave to match the utterly macabre nature of our situation, ‘I did not know the other Quidditch cap’ns were planning this.’

Tegan shook her letter. ‘Lewd Wig! What does a washed-up old rapper have to do with amateur rock bands!’

‘Do not besmirch the name of Lewd Wig in my presence!’ said J.D.

‘Nor mine!’ added Micah.

J.D. and Micah then argued about who loved Lewd Wig more, while Tegan continually poked her hand with her fork.

‘Who’s Callum Lin-Wood?’ I asked after several minutes of meditation.

Micah and J.D. shrugged and returned to their debate, while Freddie just sat there.

‘Honestly, how self-absorbed are you lot?’ said Tegan, venomous. ‘He was a seventh year when we were first years. He’s Teddy Lupin’s best mate.’

‘What house was he in?’ I asked. ‘Which band will he favour?’

She sighed. ‘Sometimes I can’t believe just how…never mind. To tell you the truth, I don’t really remember which house he was in. He was sort of a bland fellow…doesn’t really have a face. His sister Lorelai was Gryffindor Cap’n of Quidditch, so maybe he was in Gryffindor. Teddy Lupin was in Hufflepuff, though.’

‘Hmm,’ I said, looking up to the staff table out of the corner of my eye.

Fred seemed to wake up out of his trance. ‘How’d they secure the Great Hall, then? Viridian hates rock music and everything that is cool. Is this an underground operation?’

‘It’s sponsored by my dad,’ said Tegan, looking over the invitation. ‘Llewellyn and Llewellyn.’

‘I saw Rhys this morning,’ I said. ‘He came to have a word with Viridian.’

‘Did he apologise for being an absolute git?’ asked Tegan.

‘Yeah,’ I said, ‘and he still wants us to rehearse at your house.’

‘He paid Viridian off,’ said Fred.

‘What? But he only went to see him ten minutes before the owl post came,’ I said.

‘Doesn’t matter,’ said Freddie. ‘Rhys could’ve had these all ready to go when he bribed Viridian. Owl post is the fastest form of communication in our world.’

‘That doesn’t sound like Rhys,’ I said, apprehensive. ‘Why didn’t he tell us about Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff yesterday?’

‘And how does he know Lewd Wig?’ said Tegan through gritted teeth. ‘This sounds more like Eleni than my dad.’

‘Or H.U.W.,’ said Fred. ‘I’m sorry, but if he can hate me for no reason, I can hate him for no reason.’

‘Have you seen the way H.U.W. dresses?’ asked Tegan. ‘He can’t afford stationary as nice as this. I’m not even sure if he’s literate.’

I looked over and saw J.D. win an arm-wrestling match against Micah.

‘Victory!’ exclaimed J.D. ‘I am officially Lewd Wig’s number one fan!’

‘I need to go,’ said Tegan, covering her mouth and sprinting out of the Great Hall.

Leaving Freddie to sort out the impending brawl between Micah and J.D., I trotted over to the staff table, carrying my invitation to the Battle of the Bands.

‘Teddy Lupin!’ I called to my blue-haired godbrother.

He grimaced when he saw me (which, sadly, is not an uncommon reaction for people upon seeing my arrival) and glanced to the Muggle Studies witch beside him. ‘It’s Professor Lupin,’ said Teddy Lupin to me.

‘Right, right,’ I said, not listening. ‘You don’t happen to know a Callum Lin-Wood, do you?’

‘Of course I do,’ said Teddy Lupin. ‘Cal’s my best mate. He just got back from serving at the principal bassist in the Slovakian String Philharwhatsit.’

‘Oh…I presume that’s a good thing. Now, I understand that he’s serving as adjudicator for our little Battle of the Bands…and something about your expression indicates that you knew Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff were in on it the whole time…but I was wondering if you could tell me what house Callum Lin-Wood was in. I’m just curious, is all.’

‘Always the essence of subtlety,’ said Teddy Lupin. ‘I’ll tell you, but it won’t do you any good to know, because Cal has more integrity and less bias than any wizard anywhere. He was in Ravenclaw.’

Bugger! I thought.

‘I promise you,’ Teddy Lupin continued, ‘it doesn’t matter what house Callum was in, because he’ll judge you all fairly. He’s a good lad.’

Well, that’s a load of rubbish, I thought. Of course he’ll pick Euterpe’s Addiction as the winners! They’ve got legal counsel and everything!

‘James, I’m supposed to meet with Professor Viridian tomorrow,’ he said. ‘Rumour has it that Dawlish wants to come back.’

‘Bye Teddy Lupin,’ I said, not listening at all. I needed to round up my Gryffies, and I needed to do it fast. We had quite a lot of rehearsing to do, if we were going to beat Euterpe’s Addiction. And Hardcore Buzzkill and Tawny Faraday Presents: Hilarius Goodman’s Olde Tyme Something-or-Other.

We snuck off to Tegan’s house every weekend (via H.U.W.’s magic carpet) as the Battle of the Bands approached. I was remarkably better at playing the guitar as a lefty, and Freddie made great strides as a drummer. (He has a finely tuned internal clock…he’s never late for anything. And promptness is important for percussion.) And with Micah’s shocking Jack-of-all-trades musical talent, Tegan’s bass skillz, and J.D.’s almost perfect pitch and rough, sexy singing voice, we were very nearly a tight band.

Does anyone say “tight” anymore? Anyways, we were almost good.

But then there was the issue of composing an original song.

Who signed up for that?? I don’t remember signing up for that!! Where is the legally binding contract??

Oh, right. George DeJure III has it.

Tegan worked on lyrics and Micah did the music. Micah Horowitz is actually a fair composer, I’ll have you know. I don’t know why he hides his sensitive interior behind an unsavoury exterior.

But as for Tegan…she has a lot of issues right now. She doesn’t know if her mother is her mother or her father is her father, and her internal strife sort of comes out in the lyrics. Well, you’ll see later.

23rd December. The night of the Battle of the Bands. Also the night that is ripe with Festivus miracles, as Fancy New J.D. says.

We Gryffie men got dressed in our dormitory, trying to look as cool and rock ‘n roll as possible. Sadly, J.D. is the only one with cool clothes, though Freddie is a moderately swanky dresser.

‘I’m gonna win Rosie back,’ said J.D., tightening his hot-pink striped tie. ‘We’re gonna win this fricking competition and she’s going to fall for me again. I’m Fancy New J.D.!’

I miss J.Dizzle.

‘Micah, take off your loafers,’ said Freddie. ‘You can borrow my green trainers.’

‘What’s wrong with my loafers?’ asked Micah.

‘Micahnator, I’m half-black,’ Fred replied. ‘I know what’s cool more than you do. Take the trainers, please.’

I myself was wearing a bright red t-shirt with a rhinestone skull a-blazoned upon it (courtesy of J.D.) and uncomfortably tight black jeans (courtesy of Teddy Lupin). J.D. had mussed up my hair and put loads of product in it, but I just wondered if Tegan would like it.

Tegan entered our dormitory, without knocking, some minutes later.

‘Hurry up, ladies, or we’re going to miss our debut.’ She smirked.

And then I turned to look at her: blue streaks in her hair, an orange Weird Sisters shirt, and baggy pants. I considered asking her to swap pants with me, but them decided against it.

‘Nice legs, James,’ said Tegan, grinning absurdly.

I strutted over, grabbing my guitar and pick. ‘If you’ve got it, flaunt it,’ I said, hoping to sound more self-assured than I felt.

‘Right then, Team Gryffies!’ J.D. exclaimed, jumping on Freddie’s trunk and waving his arms. ‘Check your hair one last time, grab your shit, and let’s go rock this castle!’

‘Woohoo!’ I cheered, but no one else did.

‘Tie your shoe, J.D., and let’s head down to the Great Hall,’ said Freddie.

And so we began the silent trek down to meet our destiny. Tegan and I toted guitars, naturally. Alfred’s drums were already onstage, as was Horo’s assortment of instruments. J.D. needed only his voice.

All the other bands were supposed to wait in the wings when a group was performing. We all stood there, huddled in our segregated groups.

‘Shit, why is Euterpe’s Addiction’s legal counsel and publicist there?’ Tegan whispered, biting her black-coloured nails.

‘Where’s Lewd Wig?’ asked J.D., frantic. ‘I need to meet him.’

‘As do I!’ said Micah.

‘Where’s that Callum bloke?’ piped Freddie. ‘He’s the adjudicator, after all.’

And then I saw a dark-haired, expressionless fellow approach the mic. I heard the audience; they were restless and very rowdy. Frickety frick, was the entire student population of the ‘warts here tonight?

‘Greetings, Hogwarts,’ the young man at the mic said quietly. ‘I am called Callum Lin-Wood, and I shall serve as adjudicator for this “Battle of the Bands”.’ He used air quotes.

‘Now,’ continued Callum in his monotone voice, ‘are you prepared to rock?’

The audience roared. Some people swore. How impolite!

‘Well then, I suppose you have come to the right place,’ said Callum Lin-Wood. ‘Each band will perform an original composition, and while I tally the scores, Mr Lewis Delano Wiggins will perform the single from his newest record, entitled “I Hain’t No Dinosore”.’

‘LEWD WIG!’ exclaimed the crowd. The Hogwarts student body had never been so united.

‘Lewd Wig can choke on his own ego for all I care,’ said Tegan.

‘I don’t know how you can tolerate this harpy,’ J.D. said to me, pouting.

‘She likes me for who I am,’ I replied.

‘Take a moment to identify the fire exit nearest to your location,’ said Callum Lin-Wood. ‘Additionally, Mr Bleck and Spiny Norman have kindly asked me to inform you that if you are caught littering, they will hunt you down, skin you alive, and use your carcass to craft a bodhrán.

‘Right, then. Now that such business is out of the way, let us begin the Battle of the Bands with Euterpe’s Addiction.’

Callum Lin-Wood hopped off of the makeshift stage and the curtain magically closed. Drystan Davies and the rest of the Ravenclaws took their places on stage.

‘This is the part of the film where they would have a montage,’ Micah whispered as the curtain opened and the audience cheered for Euterpe’s Addiction.

‘Pardon?’ I said.

‘You remember that time we all went to the cinema?’ asked Micah. ‘A montage is a sequence of scenes undercut by music. In The Bakery Chronicles, the montage was upbeat and hopeful. Our montage would be sort of suspenseful, you know?’

I do know. Cue montage!

(Due to copyright, please undercut this montage with your own musical score.)

La la la, montage music!

‘Between your audacity and my alacrity,’ sings Drystan Davies, ‘what chance in hell have we?’

La la la, more montage music. Euterpe’s Addiction is done, Hardcore Buzzkill is ready to go. I squeeze Tegan’s hand.

‘I hate that I love you!’ sings Scorpius Malfoy. ‘I love that I hate you!’

La la la, the montage music continues. Hardcore Buzzkill finishes up, Tawny Faraday Presents Blah Blah Blah takes the stage. Tegan squeezes my hand.

‘Thou art a mandrake e’er crying,’ sings Hilarius Goodman. ‘And thou art a hippogriff e’er flying.’

And then it was zero hour: the imaginary montage ended as the Hufflepuffs exited the stage.

I swallowed. ‘Let’s go, Gryffies.’

And, exactly like the post-montage scene in The Bakery Chronicles, everything seemed to slow down. My feet were heavy…all the other Gryffs took ages to take their positions: J.D. front and centre, me to his right, Tegan to his left, Micah behind J.D. and Tegan, and Freddie behind J.D. and me. The crowd’s screams seemed to gel together…I thought I saw Mattie’s and Arlie’s faces, and maybe even Rosie’s.

Please don’t throw vegetables at us, I thought.

J.D. turned ‘round to see if we were all ready. Freddie nodded and tapped his drumsticks for the count off.

Concentrate, I thought, beginning to play. C C C C C C, A A A A minor, F F F F F F, G G G G7…

The acoustics in the Great Hall were abominable. I could hardly hear Freddie pounding away on his drums, and he was right behind me. I couldn’t hear Tegan at all, and I had to look at Micah to tell if he came in for his shofar cue.

And then J.D. began to sing. It wasn’t really singing, I suppose…more like shouting at various pitches.

‘They say that family always comes first,’ J.D. sang, strutting around and winking at the crowd. ‘But sometimes you wish they’d all die! Your mum’s a slag, your dad’s a toe rag, you’re sick of all the lies!’

See? I told you Tegan’s lyrics are pointed.

‘But I will disown this dysfunctional lot, cos there’s something special that I’ve got,’ J.D. continued, prancing about.

‘Friends, oh yes my friends,’ sang J.D. Micah switched to his bagpipes.

‘Friends, yeah friends,’ me and Tegan sang in accompaniment.

‘My friends will never betray me,’ J.D. sang.

‘Never betray!’ I sang falsetto.

‘Oh yes my friends, my friends!’ J.D. belted. ‘My friends just ain’t psychotic.’

‘Ain’t psychotic!’

Tegan’s magnum opus, “My Parents are Bipolar”, played out like that for the next seven minutes. It concluded with Micah’s big balalaika solo.

Then we were done. We waited for applause, but it never came. Most of the faces in the audience that I could see looked…disturbed.

We Gryffies ran offstage. I thought I heard Callum Lin-Wood address the crowd and tell them that the winner would be announced in ten minutes, but it was sort of hard to hear over J.D. and Micah’s screaming over who they discovered backstage.

In my dazed state, it took a moment to register that H.U.W. was there, grinning and looking very pleased with himself. But it wasn’t H.U.W. that J.D. and Micah were screaming at. No, I doubt anyone has ever been excited to see H.U.W. in his entire life. Is that mean to say?

But H.U.W. was standing right beside a man wearing a doo rag and a bright yellow ensemble that was twenty sizes too large.

Micah and J.D. were jumping up and down in front of this odd man. ‘Lewd Wig Lewd Wig!’

Tegan hit her palm against her forehead.

‘Wotcher, McTegan!’ H.U.W. said cheerily. ‘Did you like the invitations I sent for this Battle of the Bands thing-a-rino?’

My lady love did not appear to be amused. ‘No, quite frankly. And how could you afford it? You have no money.’

‘Correction: I have a small fortune,’ said H.U.W. ‘How many times must I tell you that I’m a terribly gifted illusionist?’

‘Yo, H.U.W.-man,’ said Lewd Wig, pronouncing it like “who-man”. ‘I needs to go do me song, aight? Tell these l’il chiefs ‘ere to chill, yeah? Respeck.’

Then Lewd Wig strolled onto the stage and the audience went into an uproar.

‘Did you hear that, Michers?’ J.D. squeaked. ‘Lewd Wig called us “chiefs!”’

‘Isn’t that a bad thing?’ asked Micah.

‘Who cares?’ J.D. giggled.

That’s Lewd Wig?’ Tegan asked sceptically. ‘He looks a bit young to have been rapping for thirty years.’

‘No one knows how old Lewd is,’ said H.U.W. solemnly. ‘He’s looked that way since I met him seventeen years ago.’

‘You know Lewd Wig!’ J.D. and Micah shouted together.

‘Yeah, who doesn’t?’ said H.U.W., as the Wizarding world’s most powerful rapper began the first verse of his new song. ‘I’m the one who convinced him to perform here tonight.’

Tegan turned to me. ‘I’ve come to an important conclusion: I hate everyone.’

‘Aw, you’re just a bit knackered,’ I said. ‘This will all be over in less than ten minutes, and then the holidays start tomorrow.’

Me, Freddie, and Tegan sat on the floor while Micah and J.D. kept trying to sneak onstage with Lewd Wig, only to be stopped by his security detail. I was starting to nod off when Lewd Wig finished “I Hain’t No Dinosore.”

‘Big up, you’s been a wicked audience!’ shouted Lewd Wig. ‘Stay in school, youfs! Dere’s nofing more important than education, remember dat! I learned me magic at Warthogs, jus’ like you! Course, me teachers runned out of fings to teach me by second year, so I did most of me learnin’ on da streets. Me maths, me herbology, me entrepreneurship…and now, ‘ere’s Mister Calvin Linwood wiv the winner of da Battul of da Bands!’

The crowd cheered as Callum took the stage and Lewd Wig exited it. Upon seeing J.D. and Micah ready to accost him, Lewd Wig ran in the opposite direction.

‘My, that was certainly…illuminating,’ said Callum Lin-Wood, whose dull voice was in stark contrast to Lewd Wig’s animated one. ‘I have come to my decision. The winner of the first annual Hogwarts Battle of the Bands is…’

He was interrupted by Lewd Wig traversing the stage, followed in hot pursuit by Micah and J.D., who were in turn followed by Lewd Wig’s security detail.

‘As I was saying,’ continued Callum, ‘the winner of the Battle of the Bands, the prize for which is the honour of a job well done, is…’

Lewd Wig crossed the stage again, followed by J.D., Micah, and his bodyguards.

‘Ahem,’ said Callum Lin-Wood, showing the slightest sign of irritation. ‘The winner is…’

Lewd Wig ran onto the stage again, grabbed the slip of paper Callum was holding, and shouted, ‘Tawny Faraway Present: Hilary Goodmon’s Old Friends!’

Micah, who had grabbed Lewd Wig’s jacket, was promptly Stunned by a member of the security detail as Lewd Wig dropped the parchment and ran. J.D. tried to go after him, but was also Stunned. The entire school bore witness to this event.

‘The Hufflepuffs won?’ asked Freddie, who had sometime in the minutes before collapsed, arms spread wide, on the floor.

‘Don’t care anymore,’ mumbled Tegan, whose head was resting on my shoulder.

I saw Tawny Faraday and the rest of her Troubadour Friends hurry onstage to shake hands with Callum Lin-Wood and thank the audience, then promptly hurry offstage.

‘Well done,’ I said genially as they passed by. ‘You were really good. Really original.’

‘Thanks!’ said Tawny, beaming. ‘You were really good too!’

That’s the thing about Hufflepuffs: Even when they beat you, you can’t bring yourself to be upset cos they’re so nice all the time.

Plus, in the very beginning of this musical adventure, we set out to not be beat by the Slytherins. And we weren’t.

‘All right, mates,’ I said to Tegan and Freddie, who both might have been asleep. ‘The nice burly men are carting J.D. and Micah off the stage, probably for questioning or summat, so let’s head up to the tower.’

And that’s how first term ended for the Gryffies.

A/N: I am SO sorry for the wait! I do have a very good excuse, a number of them, in fact, but somebody famous once said that excuses are bad, so I shan’t go into detail.

If I haven’t lost all my readers in this criminally long wait…thanks for your patience! If you choose to leave a review…thank you for your comments and criticism! I’m currently behind in responding to them but I’ll get caught up as soon as I can.

Credit where credit is due: Make Your Own Kind Of Music is a song by Cass Elliot. “By the pricking of my thumbs” etc. is from Macbeth. Oh, and the quote’s by Nietzsche, if that wasn’t clear.

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